August 12, 2009

Re: Rhode Island Board of Regents Approves Teacher Evaluation Plan

Justin Katz

Whispers among administrative types are expressing skepticism about the regents' call for teacher evaluations (PDF). Perhaps, like Monique, the current system has beaten them down to the point of not believing such a thing to be possible, in Rhode Island, but they point to this paragraph as the potential trap door:

Establishing parameters for evaluation systems that are at the basis for the development, deployment, and advancement stage of the model begins with the development of standards for district‐based educator evaluation systems. This document presents a set of six draft standards that describe a high quality system. The draft standards identify expectations for all districts. RIDE will develop recommendations for how to support districts as they begin to implement these standards and processes that will lead to how local systems will be reviewed for compliance with the standards. It is important to remember that educator evaluation is only one element of an educator performance management system, but it represents a critical starting point.

The regents are telling districts to go out and negotiate these new standards with the unions and the state will figure out how to support them. It's a step in the right direction, certainly, but there's plenty of room for delays and game-playing.

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"The regents are telling districts to go out and negotiate these new standards"

Oh, no, no, no. This needs to be a mandate, either from the Board of Regents or, if they really cared about children, from the General Assembly.

(Good catch, Justin.)

Posted by: Monique at August 12, 2009 7:49 AM

What a joke. A sham.

Separate evaluations by district by definition means that there'll be no way to conduct "apples to apples" comparisons of teachers across the state (much less the nation).

Further, intra-district evaluation schemes are inherently prone to the "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" dynamic.

Here come the teacher "portfolios." Teachers, get out your crayons, it's evaluation time.

Posted by: Tom W at August 12, 2009 8:42 AM
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